Ocean travel without a boat

Journal of Peter Greenwell

Tag: goals (page 1 of 2)

The Elder Scrolls hankering

The desire to play MMO games comes on in waves with me every six to nine months. After playing Lord of the Rings Online for a good while, my thoughts have turned to the Elder Scrolls universe again. As I’ve written elsewhere, probably over at Ulujain.org somewhere, I’m a great fan of the milieu, having been playing the Elder Scrolls series since Arena was released in 1994.

I’ve been working spasmodically on getting Arena to run on my Linux computer, but that’s a tale for some other time.

I keep tabs on what’s going on with the Elder Scrolls Online though I haven’t played it since May, 2017. I like what Zenimax have done and are doing to this game. From some very shaky and questionable beginnings, ESO has evolved into a quality product that is eminently playable, and eminently fun.


It’s a timesink. It is not difficult to lose yourself in it for 12-15 hours a day. 12-15 hours one will never have back. It’s arguable that if you had fun, and you feel the better for it, then it was time well invested. But I have my sights on getting a lot done this year and anything that will potentially derail these ambitions is, quite frankly, toxic.

So, I’m going to let ESO and its allures remain a fond memory. Forever? No, I can never say never to going back, but not any time soon. Anyway, here’s Himalia.

My Bosmer Dragonknight Himalia

My Bosmer Dragonknight Himalia

A new game arises

One of the things I’ve had in the back of my mind to do for some time is make a video game. While it’s a daunting task for one person to do, it’s been done, and many times done successfully. Encouraged (and emboldened) I have set about getting things together to bring this game into fruition. I’m going to be reticent with details such as the game name, but it’ll be a “visual novel” set in the world of Aesedra, dealing with the life and memories of one of its long-dead rulers.

A few details (major updates 5/2/2018):

  • I’ve gone with ren.py
  • It will be a visual novel, complete with books, scrolls and plaques that the player can read.
  • There will be no combat or inventory
  • It will feature forests, streams, ponds, a pool, a large manor house, a basement, an attic, a crypt and a rotunda. This is at the least. I may even add more.
  • It will feature both music and ambient sounds/effects (Foley).
  • I hope to make it cross-platform, though I have zero idea how games work on Macs.
  • I’d like to release it on Steam and offer achievements and trading cards.

As far as knowledge goes, I’m starting at near zero. I am no artist or graphical designer, I am no musician, I am no programmer. What I can do is write a story – look around this site for evidence – and I have the self-belief that I can learn the skills necessary to bring this game to life. I don’t know how long it’ll take to make – a year, two years, I don’t know.

The materials I believe I’ll need to make this game. Check means I have it already:

  • ren.py – check. Its a free download. What powers the game.
  • Blender – check. It’s a free download. To create 3D structures and other assets.
  • GIMP – check. It’s a free download. To draw textures, colour materials and structures. Scrolls, books, plaques, gravestones, etc.
  • ProjectLibre – check. It’s a free download. This tool will be used to manage the game project.
  • Freeplane – check. It’s a free download. This is a Java-based mind-mapping app which will let me visually lay out the game.
  • Audacity – check. It’s a free download. This program is for editing sound files and Foley, as well as the voice-overs.
  • Inkscape – check. Free as well, for the backgrounds and some character art.

While storyboarding software would be nice, I can do this stuff in a word processor or text editor, or even Freeplane which will do the job visually. Mind-mapping tools are marvellous for laying out things like timelines, brainstorming etc.

The design computer is my gaming rig:

  • Windows 7 64-bit
  • Intel i5 6600
  • 8 Gb x 2150 DDR4 RAM (I have another 8Gb I need to fit).
  • Samsung EVO 250GB SSD (C: drive)
  • Toshiba 2TB “spin” drive (D: drive)
  • Asus Strix AMD 390x video card – 8GB VRAM

My linux computer – which I’m writing this on, is an old AMD K6 with an Nvidia GT210 in it. NOT a gaming computer! What it can do is run the Java-based apps such as ProjectLibre and Freeplane, and maybe some of the audio editing. It’s easy enough to move files between the two computers – that’s not an issue.

So where am I at with the game? I have a very rough map of the “game world” drawn – the actual area the player can explore. Just the exterior so far. I also know what the story will be like as I’ve touched on it in a couple of stories I’ve written. My next steps are to watch tutorials on UE4 to see how it works and what can be done with it. I’m already investigating programming (Javascript) so I’m on the way from that angle too.

Stay tuned. I will have more in the future to present!


The theme for 2018

Oh dear, it’s one of these resolution thingies, you know, the ones all the rage this time of year. Yeah well, it’s a good enough time to reset as any other.

Theme: to get my weight and health where it needs to be. Health covers the mental side of things too.

Goal: I will have lost 35 kilograms by 31 December 2018.


  • Obtain gainful employment in environmental science – this could be bolstered by volunteering for various enviro groups and concerns, lending aid as a scientist. Also by making myself known (and useful) to council enviro officers. It’s obvious to anyone in this industry it’s who you know that gets you in.
  • Adhere to a low-carb diet. My previous experience with these is that they both are great for weight loss, and I get to eat foods I like. Sorry vegans, I can’t be one.
  • Use MyFitnessPal to track daily intake and weekly weight loss.
  • I have an Honours degree in Gothic literature. Not going to let that go to waste. I need to keep in touch with the scene/genre (lifelong learning!), Tentatively – keep the option of a PhD in mind.
  • Keep calm and…keep calm.
  • Maintain and adhere to a to do list.
  • Choose a story, complete it, and submit it for publishing. I have a few options here.
  • Learn the Welsh language.
  • Work towards buying a Mazda MX-5
  • Work towards giving coffee the flick (It’s not a priority, but I drink too much of it).

Will update this as things change and/or come to light.❖

The most beautiful mechanical thing

The most beautiful mechanical thing

The year in review

Obligatory cynicism in 3…2…1



OK, with that aside, let me commence the year in review. Or y flwyddyn yn yr adolygiad if you prefer.

These questions have been adapted from here. This guy writes some very pertinent stuff.

General reflection about the year

Finished my enviro science degree, stop-start with the weight loss, oldest daughter graduated school and got accepted into uni. Youngest daughter completed Year 11. Despite somme up and downs, it was another relatively painless and serene year.

Significant events

Oldest daughter being accepted into uni.

Biggest accomplishment

Graduating with my enviro science degree. Staying alive?

Challenges you encountered

Procrastination, couldn’t be bothered syndrome, laziness, muddled thinking, unfocused intelligence, envy for other people’s successes, being overweight. A few suicidal imaginings here and there. Fear not, they were nothing I was going to act upon. I’m still here, no?

Learning lessons

That using an application such as MyFitnessPal is beneficial (if not essential) to proper, sustainable weight loss. That positive things rarely happen by accident – they need to be created. That, to paraphrase AC/DC, waiting around to be a millionaire is neither fun nor productive. In summary – something *needs* to be done.


My family, and a few friends. My psychologist Neill.

Most common mental state this year?

Meh. That’d be it in one word.

Me on the 1st of January 2017 vs. me right now

Pretty much thinking the same things though I wasn’t at home this time last year. Now, I’m somewhere more comfortable and can dedicate myself to introspection better. There’s far more grim determination this year.

Dw i’n dysgu Cymraeg

Or rwy’n dysgu Cymraeg – I’m not certain which one is more correct. In plain English it means I am learning Welsh. Just started mind you, but so far I’m having fun with it. Yes, the “ll” digraph is a horror to get right. Nonetheless, it’s all good stuff and someday, I’ll actually contribute to this blog in the language. Wouldn’t that be something?

Kettlebell adventures begin

I got hold of a 12 kilogram kettlebell and am currently going through various sites and YouTube videos to find an optimal workout. I’m starting to prefer the kettlebell over traditional dumbbells because of the aerobic component. I’m not after muscle growth, but rather an all over fitness regime concentrating on tone and weight loss. I will post updates as I progress.


The bell of kettle

A revelatory book explored

A self-help book

The light bulb came on

If How-To’s Were Enough We Would All be Skinny, Rich and Happy – Brian Klemmer

I’ll be the first to admit that this post’s title would most likely fail SEO critiquing. On the plus side, it can certainly not be described as clickbait. No 10 reasons for blah blah here.

Anyhow, onward and upward. Some time back, my local library had a sale, disposing of excess inventory. I bought about 15-20 books for the princely sum of $10 Australian. A few were fiction, but most were non-fictional works on topics that I possess a passing interest in (at the least). This book was one of them. The title itself was intriguing, as I’ve sat and glossed over quite a few how-tos in my day, on a wide variety of subjects – including personal improvement.

This one is short at 149 pages, divided into ten chapters including an epilogue. Each of these chapters cover themes and concepts that could easily stand on their own, though there is ample inter-relationship, making this book a cohesive whole.

This book is strongly recommended.

Chapter 1: The secret

The key point of this introductory chapter is that we see things and the world tinted through sunglasses. While wearing these, we are loath to view the world (or anything) in any other colour or hue apart from what these glasses show us. We stubbornly adhere to the ingrained belief that there is nothing beyond this view, and you’re foolish to even try to describe the world in any other terms. So take them off and see what the world truly looks like.

Chapter 2: The Formula of Champions

For me, this chapter was the awakening. The formula to success is Intention + Mechanism = Result. This may well be self-evident to many, but the kicker here is what an intention is. The author argues that people intend to do things at two levels. There’s your stated intention – I’m going to lose weight – but your true intention is – it’s all too hard or it takes too long – therefore the formula collapses before it even starts. I’m proof of this intention vs true intention paradigm, just have a read of the Operation 47 pep talks I’ve posted here.

Once your true intention becomes what you’re truly desiring, then half the battle is won.

Chapter 3: The Key to Relationships

In this chapter, the author discusses the self-destructiveness of what he calls the 3R’s – resentment, resistance and revenge. He asserts that feeling these three emotions is natural. It’s not about avoiding them, but redirecting them into positive energy. Some excellent guidelines are provided to do precisely that.

Chapter 4: Responsibility

This one is self-explanatory. Taking ownership, and having the liberty to make choices.

Chapter 5: To think is to create

This chapter sums up the differences between the conscious and the subconscious. The author asserts that it is pointless to pep yourself up at a conscious level if your subconscious isn’t in line with it. It then discusses visualisation as opposed to imagination. Visualisation of wants and desires aid in realising them. Again, this is a landmark way of seeing things for me, much like what was discussed in Ch. 2. They’re limpid concepts that remain obscured to most people.

Chapter 6: Your vision 

This chapter is about goal-setting and some different ways of approaching them. Short and sweet.

Chapter 7: The power of balance

This is another one of those epiphanous chapters. Here, the reader is asked to visualise, or actually draw, a diagram based on four different aspects of your self (that’s not “yourself”) – physical, emotional, spiritual and mental. Although the author is writing from a Christian point of view, he does stress that spiritual can mean whatever it means to the individual.

These aspects are rated out of ten with one being the least. The object is to balance the four aspects in harmony, without one or more having outliers and thus putting you out of balance.

Chapter 8: Oneness vs separateness 

Discusses how essentially that no human is an island. It goes on to explain that most of us have an ingrained us and them belief regarding others, and the object of this chapter is to remove this and become inclusive with those you formally excluded (mentally or otherwise). By doing this, life comes win-win for all concerned, rather than win-lose or lose-lose.

Chapter 9: an action attitude…first day, last day

How not to burden yourself with unwarranted fears and the like. Dreams are easier and simpler to achieve if the road ahead is cleared of all foreseeable trouble. Plus it tackles the subject of procrastination by asking you to roleplay your last day, and what would you do and/or achieve before you died at the end of that day.

In other words, there is no moment like now to get things going. See excuses for what they are.

Chapter 10:  Rags to riches…applying the philosophy 

Delves into a case study of an Hawaiian man who makes kites and yo-yos. This chapter is all about achievable goals and the art of goal-setting. Gives a ten point philosophy to make the transition from poor to successful, and most of these points were touched on in previous chapters, particularly win-win and visualisation.

The book then concludes with a summarising epilogue and an exhortation to being faithful and true to yourself while on the to a better life.

Halfway there…

operation 47

Alrighty, read this post, if you’re of a mind. It’s the start of my weight loss goals. I wanted to lose 40 kg by the time I’m 47 which is in December 2015. Well, it’s now 8 February, 2015, and I’m just a touch under halfway there. When I weighed myself the other day (Tuesday, 3 February) I was at 116.7 kg. That’s nearly twenty kilograms lighter than when I started this whole calorie counting thing four months ago. My gut feels “caved in” – my arms and legs feel smaller, the shorts almost fall off my hips.

I have no doubt I’ll be 40 kg lighter by December 2015. In fact, the way I’m going, I’ll be even lighter.

Once again, it’s all been too simple. I’ve just counted what I’ve eaten and drank of a day using myfitnesspal.com and stayed at or under the allotted daily kilojoule allowance. No stupid diets, no beans-only main meals or cold showers (like I read in one book on “revolutionary” weight loss), no meal replacement powders, no shakes, no eating only lettuce and spinach. No excuses.

Just measured what I eaten and drank. Hell, I still eat stuff like pizzas and McDonalds on occasion.

So, if you need inspiration and you’ve found these posts through Google, look at all the Operation 47 stuff I’ve written. Hopefully, it’s motivating.

Serious progress is serious

operation 47

When I weighed myself this morning I was 119.1 kg. So I’m finally below 120 kg. I haven’t been under that particular target since around 2003-2004, at least. Since I’ve started this counting calories (or kilojoules rather) gig, I’ve shed 17 kg. While I’m not quite a fount of exuberant energy (yet) I do feel lighter. Clothes sit looser on me and it’s easier to get up from a chair or out of bed. That’s when my back doesn’t give me grief, which is a story for another day.

As I’ve said with nearly other Operation 47 entry here, it’s been too easy. All I do is count calories and stay under a certain limit each day. It works. The weight is falling off.

Can write off the holidays

operation 47

Well, I’ve tried to maintain calorie counting and watching what I eat and I’ve been largely successful, but no, I guarantee I’ve put on weight this last week. When I weigh myself tomorrow, that suspicion will be vindicated. No big deal – silly season is coming to an end, 2015 is nearly upon us then it’ll be full steam ahead. I’ve lost 15 Kg since I started Operation 47 and there’s no stopping me now.

Edit: surprise, surprise – I actually managed to lose 500 grams. I’m at 120.1 Kg.

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